** This post was written after my Orientation on 3/17, but not published until I discussed the assignment with my supervisor. Enjoy! **
Let me start off by saying that I NEVER thought I would end up working in a zoo. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, or thought zoos were some evil place that only benefitted the man, I just had only been to one zoo in my life, the Bronx Zoo once when I was in kindergarten and once during my senior year of high school. The memories are positive, but fuzzy, zoos just weren’t a major part of my life at all.
Fast forward to my Sophomore year at Dickinson College, I was looking into places to intern in the Philadelphia area for summer 2018 so I could build my resume, get some experience and spend time with my sister who lives in the city. I applied to the Philadelphia Zoo on a whim, figuring I wouldn’t get in and knowing that they likely receive hundreds of applications each year. Though, here I am having just finished orientation for my Environmental Education and Animal Behavior Internship, or EEABI for short.
This week has been interesting, as I have always felt the most difficult group of people to interact with were my peers, a personal challenge for myself this summer is to quit being so awkward and shy and make friends and have some great conversations. Over the four day orientation, we’ve been spending a lot of time in a conference room discussing a lot of logistics. Though, we also had the opportunity to do some team building activities. One of my favorites, “Pterodactyl”, a game that is played by standing in a circle squawking the word while covering your teeth entirely with your lips and trying not to laugh (if a clearer explanation is needed, I would definitely be willing to follow up). Though my eleven-year-old self was squealing with excitement to play this hysterical game, my peers didn’t seem quite as excited, which may be because it was 9 AM on the fourth and final day of orientation.
Our most elaborate team building activity was a PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT! My team, the axolotls, actually won the competition thanks to our creative recreation of zoo statues and fine attention to detail, granting us a free trip on the ZOO BALLOON! (photos below)